Lately, Toronto audiences have been no strangers to the diverse talents in Japanese alternative music. The appearance of Damo Suzuki a couple of years back at Wavelength was a nice surprise, and the “melodic instrumental noise unit ” known as Mono put on a fantastic display of intensity this past summer at Harbourfront during a set at the Beats, Breaks and Culture Festival. And of course, there’s Ron Burd, director of the music department at CIUT 89.5FM, whose close connection to the Japanese underground scene has kept the radio shelves stocked with such artists as Chiaki Kato, Kei and the Chitan Go Kings.
This past weekend carried the experience further with a three night stand at the Silver Dollar and The Comfort Zone with the electric womp of The Zoobombs, a powerful five piece who put the hammer right on the jam. Their set on Friday night, despite some temporary malfunctions on stage involving a certain bass rig and some patch cables, was a fine rock n’ roll moment for the city that will go down as one of the better shows this year when it’s all said and done. With bounce, vigour, and devout professionalism, The Zoobombs brought some much needed inspiration to a relatively tame Canadian Music Week. Though the industry hacks in attendence couldn’t handle the spike in volume when the Bombs took to the stage, the place was packed and hoppin’ throughout their whole set and the crowd diggin’ it hard to the last minute. Let’s hope that next year’s CMW takes more chances like this one. Add to that the appearance of another highly anticipated Japanese band, Guitarwolf, at Lee’s Palace, and you’ve got a recipe for the future. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Toronto and Tokyo rock n’ roll. Perhaps we could send No Dynamics or The Creeping Nobodies their way, not just to return the favour, but to up the ante a little.